TERMS OF BUSINESS

 

HOURS OF BUSINESS

 

My office hours are 09:30 to 17:30 Monday to Friday.  In appropriate cases I can arrange to see you outside my usual office hours, or away from the office.  In such cases I would charge a reasonable fee for travelling time plus the cost of my travel. An appointment is always required.  

 

RESPONSIBILITY

 

A Notary's first duty is to the transaction as a whole.  Clients, third parties and foreign governments and officials worldwide rely upon notarial acts.  Unless otherwise agreed in writing, a Notary's responsibility is limited to the Notarial formalities and does not extend to advice on or the drafting of documentation or in relation to substantive legal input on the matter under consideration. I do not give foreign law advice.

 

FEES

 

I charge fees based on the time taken for the whole matter (including making the appointment, travelling or waiting time and the time needed to prepare the official records I am required to maintain).  My present hourly rate is £300.  Generally speaking, it is unlikely that the fee for any transaction will be less than £150 for an individual whilst the fee for any transaction involving a company is unlikely to be less than £250.  I will usually be able to give a fixed fee once I have seen the document you require to be notarised (and any instructions sent to you about it). 

 

If it is a simple matter of witnessing a document I will charge a fixed fee.  If there are complications or I am required to draft a document the fee will be charged on a time-spent basis.  

 

My practice is not registered for VAT and VAT will not be charged.  

 

I reserve the right to vary these rates in respect of extremely urgent work or work done outside ordinary office hours or at the weekend.

 

PAYMENT

 

My fees are payable on presentation of an invoice which is usually presented at the time of our meeting.

 

Documents may not be released until all fees and disbursements have been paid in full (usually at the meeting) by cash, cheque or by immediate BACS transfer. 

 

 

DISBURSEMENTS

 

You are responsible for all payments that I make on your behalf. Typical examples are legalisation fees paid to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and/or an Embassy, legalisation agents' fees, Companies Registry fees, courier fees and special delivery postage charges. However I shall not incur these expenses without first obtaining your consent to do so.

 

TERMS GOVERNING MY SERVICES

 

I may need more than one appointment to finalise the matter, particularly if it is necessary for me to prepare all or some of the documentation.

 

Part of my role as Notary is to check the facts in the documents and this sometimes involves obtaining evidence or proof from sources independent of the signatory.  I will need your full cooperation in this regard.  If it is necessary to add qualifications to my certificate to make it clear that there are facts which I have been unable to verify, the document may be of less benefit and I accept no liability if this is the case.

 

In some circumstances, I may consider that I should decline or cease to act.  For example, if I do not receive clear or proper instructions or if the matter on which I am instructed involves fraud or violence, or if my charges are not paid.

 

PROOF OF IDENTITY

 

Identification of individuals and proof of residential address is required.  This is usually by way of a current passport, photo card driving licence or national identity card and a recent gas, electricity or other bill or bank statement. Exceptionally, other proof may be acceptable.

 

If you act on behalf of a company, I will need to establish that it exists and that the signatory has authority to represent it.  I generally conduct my own checks at Companies House. In some cases I may ask you to produce a certificate of incorporation, good standing certificate or other similar evidence.

 

WRITTEN TRANSLATION

 

In cases where I do not have knowledge of the language in which the document is written, official translations may be required before and/or after execution of the documentation.

 

LIABILITY

 

Except so far as excluded by the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977, my liability for any loss, injury or damage of any nature whatever, whether direct or consequential, including (without limitation) in respect of negligence or breach of duty of care is limited to £1,000,000 in respect of any one claim or series of related claims.

 

 

COMPLAINTS

 

I aim to provide all clients with an efficient and high standard of service. However, in the unlikely event that you should wish to complain, then you should follow the complaints procedure set out below.

 

Notaries are regulated by the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury:

 

The Faculty Office

1, The Sanctuary

Westminster

London

SW1 3JT

 

Tel: 020 7222 5381

 faculty.office@1thesanctuary.comwww.facultyoffice.org.uk

 

If you are dissatisfied with the service you have received, please do not hesitate to contact me.  If I am unable to resolve the matter then you may complain to the Notaries Society of which I am a member, who have a Complaints Procedure that is approved by the Faculty Office. This procedure is free to use and is designed to provide a quick resolution to any dispute.

 

In that case please write (but do not enclose any original documents) with full details of your complaint to:

 

The Secretary of The Notaries Society

Old Church Chambers

23 Sandhill Road

St James

Northampton

NNS SLH

 

Tel: 01604 758908

 

secretary@thenotariessociety.org.uk

 

If you have any difficulty making a complaint in writing, please do not hesitate to call the Notaries Society/the Faculty Office for assistance.

 

Finally, even if you have your complaint considered under the

Notaries Society Approved Complaints Procedure, you may at the end of that procedure, or after a period of eight weeks from the date you first notified me that you were dissatisfied, make your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman*, if you are not happy with the result:

 

Legal Ombudsman

P.O. Box 606

Wolverhampton

WV 1 9WJ,

 

Tel: 0300 555 0333

 

enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk

www.legalombudsman.org.uk

 

If you decide to make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman you must refer your matter to the Legal Ombudsman within six months from the conclusion of the complaint process.

 

RECORDS

 

At the end of the matter, a formal entry of the main details of your transaction together with copies of the notarised document will be kept.  In particular, when requested to certify documents such as public deeds, the above details will also be kept in my notarial protocols.

 

I store without charge electronic copies of all notarial acts for as long as I am required to do so by the relevant notarial practice rules. I do not always keep a full copy of your documents or identification materials but reserve the right to do so.

 

DATA PROTECTION

 

I use the information you provide primarily for the provision of my services to you and for related purposes including:

Updating & enhancing client records
analysis to help me manage my practice
statutory returns
legal & regulatory compliance.

 

MONEY LAUNDERING

 

Notaries are obliged under the Money Laundering Legislation to take measures to protect against fraud and forgery. To ensure that I comply with this you acknowledge and agree that I may make all such enquiries as I deem necessary or appropriate in order to comply with my duty, and you will provide me with such documents and information as I may request.

 

Your failure to do so will entitle me to terminate my engagement and cease acting for you forthwith.

 

ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION

 

In many instances, email may be the easiest and most convenient form in which to communicate with you and relevant third parties.  However, emails are sent over the Internet, which is an insecure medium of communication as messages can pass through the hands of unregulated service providers and networks used by the Internet may be vulnerable to illegal hacking or forms of legal interception.

 

A large proportion of any information I transmit to you by means of email is likely to be of a confidential nature.  Because email communications are transmitted over a public network, I cannot accept responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the contents of emails, or any attachments, as received by you.  I also cannot guarantee the confidentiality of email correspondence. 

 

You hereby consent to my communicating with you, and third parties in relation to my work for you, by email.  You acknowledge that I cannot guarantee the confidentiality of any material included in non-encrypted email; and agree to waive any claim you may have against me with regard to the confidentiality of email communications.

 

Further, I understand that some employers enforce strict policies regarding personal email.  If I am acting for you in your personal capacity and you ask me to use a work email address for you, I cannot accept liability for any problems that may arise with your employer as a result.

 

From time to time I may use software intended to filter out unsolicited and/or undesirable emails and this may inadvertently reject legitimate emails from you or in relation to work I am carrying out for you.  I cannot accept liability for any emails not reaching their intended recipient as a result of such software. 

 

EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY

 

I am committed to promoting equality and diversity in all of my dealings with clients and third parties.

 

THE RELEVANT LAW

 

The law that governs my contract with you is English Law and it is agreed that any dispute relating to my services shall be resolved by the English courts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Signature:.................................

 

For and on behalf of:

 

.................................................

 

Date:.........................................

 

 

 

* certain kinds of commercial entities are not eligible to make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman – please refer to the Legal Ombudsman Scheme Rules or consult the Faculty Office.

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© Sarah Albury